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Old 30th March 2017, 12:52
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Ukraine's ambassador to Poland sees Russian hand in attack on consulate in Lutsk Ukraine's Ambassador to Poland Andriy Deshchytsia suspects Russia is certainly responsible for an attack on Poland's Consulate General building in the Ukrainian city of Lutsk, according to RMF24.
UNIAN 30 March 2017

This is an attack on Poland's Consulate General in Lutsk, but at the same time it is an attack on Polish-Ukrainian relations, which have been developing very well. Apparently, vandalizing monuments wasn't enough – this did not help to drive a wedge between Ukrainians and Poles, and now we see a new phase of attacks on the consulates and diplomatic relations," the ambassador told journalists on arrival at the Polish Foreign Ministry's building where he was invited in connection with the incident, RMF24 reported.

An investigation into the case has been launched already, he said.
"The parties that are not interested in good Polish-Ukrainian relations are behind the attack. Undoubtedly, it's Russia," Deshchytsia concluded.

As UNIAN reported earlier, there was an explosion on the fourth floor of the building of Poland's Consulate General in Lutsk in the early hours of March 29.

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine said that a shot from an RPG-26 grenade launcher had reportedly caused the damage. No victims were reported. The SBU is probing several theories behind the incident, including a terrorist attack. "Only one side benefits from provocations against the Republic of Poland, which happen from time to time in Ukraine – this is the Russian Federation whose 'pattern' is seen from afar," the agency said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko instructed law enforcement agencies to urgently take all measures to investigate into the attack on Poland's Consulate General. He also ordered to beef up security at foreign diplomatic offices to prevent further provocations.

"It has just become known that the special services have already traced the terrorists – there is a lead, but details are not disclosed in the interests of the investigation," the television news service TSN reported on Wednesday.

Poroshenko also had a telephone call with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda during which he suggested that Polish specialists be involved in the investigation of the attack on the Consulate General in Lutsk. Both leaders agreed that the friendly Polish-Ukrainian relations should not be affected by any provocation.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, in turn, expressed his indignation at the provocation against Poland's Consulate General. "It's a mean act committed by those who stand against our friendship with the Republic of Poland. We are doing our best to have the guilty punished," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Polish prosecutors have started their own investigation into the incident, Radio Poland said. https://www.unian.info/politics/1849...-in-lutsk.html

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Old 17th February 2018, 17:55
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Ukraine and Poland. What next?
EUROMAIDN PRESS Espreso TV Petro Kraliuk 2018/02/09

Vasyl Stus in his “Camp Notebook,” written in 1982, noted: “I am enthralled by Polish victories of the spirit and I regret that I am not a Pole.” At that time a huge mass of Poles, united by the Solidarity trade union, was engaged in an unequal struggle with a totalitarian regime.

Poland markedly outpaced Ukraine then. It became one of the first “cells” of the socialist camp to overthrow a totalitarian regime. It joined NATO, it became a member of the EU. With the help of the West, it was able to transform its economy, becoming a relatively prosperous country.

Will Poland bring about the collapse of the European Union?

And suddenly, in recent years, Poland has turned into a “headache” for the EU. Right wing parties have come to power, who have rejected liberal values and who are adopting populist measures. Democracy is being curtailed in the country. On December 20, 2017, the European Commission initiated a disciplinary proceeding against Poland for the controversial judicial reform that is being implemented in the country. Poland may be deprived of the right to vote in this community. Indeed, the Polish leadership has caused a crisis that could lead to the collapse or reorganization of the EU.

An unfortunate parallel comes to mind. Just as Poland once contributed to the collapse of the Socialist camp and the Soviet Union, it could now lead to the collapse of the European Union. Incidentally, in Poland today comparisons are frequently made between the USSR and the EU. At the same time, Polish leadership does not refuse considerable subsidies from the European Union.

Unfortunately, similar tendencies are characteristic not only of Poland but also of several recent EU members, especially Hungary and the Czech Republic. This is a phenomenon that has not yet been fully understood by political science. Russia has played a certain role, exerting influence in these countries through its intelligence services and propaganda. However, this factor should not be exaggerated. It rather plays the role of a catalyst for processes that are conditioned by other factors — social, demographic, cultural, and so on. In this context, one must also understand the political processes in these countries. One example is the recent adoption in Poland of amendments to the law on the Institute of National Remembrance, which was much discussed in Ukraine. These amendments provide for punishment for denying the “crimes of Ukrainian nationalists.” They are interpreted very broadly in Poland, making it possible to include many manifestations of the national liberation struggle of Ukrainians under their wording.

Finally, the amendments to the law on the Institute of National Remembrance have generated negative reactions in other countries, especially since they reveal an attempt to ignore instances of the persecution of Jews by Poles.

Why has another problematic initiative appeared in Poland?

In general, it would have been surprising not to expect that the amendments adopted by the Sejm and the Senate would not be signed by the president. He has not been restrained by the negative reactions from Israel and the United States, much less by those of Ukraine. The official statement by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on these amendments has not and probably will not generate an adequate response from the Polish side.

There is still some hope in the Constitutional Court, where President Andrzej Duda promised to submit legislative changes. But it is important to keep in mind that, after the recent judicial reforms in Poland, this institution is heavily influenced by the current government. At most, the Constitutional Court may become sort of a lightning rod that proposes certain amendments. Perhaps this is what will happen because there seems to have been no other reason for the president to send this law to the Court.

All this resembles a political game. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and its leader Jarosław Kaczyński remain “clean” since they did “what they could.” “Their” Sejm, Senate and president supported the legislative initiative, which pleases the nationalistically minded Poles — the party’s electorate. The Constitutional Court is a so-called “independent body,” which can afford to take certain “liberties.”

Naturally, the adopted amendments to the law on the Institute of National Remembrance are first of all a tactical move to mobilize the conservative and nationalistic electorate around the PiS party and its allies. True, this is being done to the accompaniment of demagogic statements about the search for “historical truth.” Such actions are effective and support for the PiS party is growing.

These amendments also have the goal of discouraging manifestations of national consciousness by Ukrainians who are living, working and studying in Poland. And there are more than 1 million of them!

In the end, these amendments are another attempt by the current Polish authorities to gauge the reaction of their partners to the curtailment of freedom of speech in the country.

Should Ukrainians be concerned about yet another act by Polish authorities regarding the search for “historical truth”? It must be understood that this is political manipulation that has been taking place and will continue.

Ukrainians should bid farewell to their “Polish illusions.” For some time now Poland has no longer been “Ukraine’s lawyer” in Europe. It will soon need a lawyer of its own. And it is not worth hoping that this country will help Ukraine integrate into the European space. For that we need to seek other partners that are playing a leading role in the European Union. They are primarily Germany and France. Of course, we should not forget the eastern EU countries that support us –for example, Lithuania.

Ukraine should build a purely pragmatic relationship with Poland without any symbolic “brotherhood” and “strategic partnership.” The Ukrainian government, aside from making loud statements about the actions of Polish right-wing politicians (although such statements also are needed) should seriously address the issue of the troubled border trade with Poland and the question of Polish recruitment of Ukrainian workers and students from Ukraine, as well as the protection of Ukrainian citizens who are temporarily or permanently residing in Poland. And it should not forget the Polish citizens of Ukrainian descent.

And, finally, it needs to remind both the Polish government and the EU countries that it is Ukraine that is defending European values in a war with Russia. Perhaps there will be liberals in Poland and in Europe who will recognize this reality and will say they regret they are not Ukrainians.

Historian Petro Kraliuk is vice-rector at the National University of Ostroh Academy
Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda
Ukraine and Poland. What next? -Euromaidan Press |

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